When I was in high school, an indie pop band I gravitated towards was the Chicago-based The Hush Sound. On Thursday night, I finally got to cross something off my list and see them live, as they played a gig at The Regent in DTLA.
Though the band hasn’t released new material since 2013 after an extended hiatus, they’ve played a couple of live shows around the holidays the last couple of years — both in Chicago and in LA. The band featured Bob Morris (vocals/guitar), Greta Morgan (vocals/piano), Mike Leblanc (bass/vocals), and Darren Wilson (drums/vocals). Of the band, Morgan has been the most active musician, living in LA in recent years and putting out music as Springtime Carnivore and also a covers record with Katy Goodman of La Sera.
The crowd was mostly comprised of people in my age group, mid-twenties to mid-thirties — people who grew up enjoying the emo pop sound of this group. It felt like this show allowed the crowd to time travel — back before they got that tattoo that they regret, before they were jaded by that first bad breakup. Though more than a decade has passed since the drop of their 2005 debut record So Sudden, the crowd still knew all the words to hits like “So Sudden”.
It took all these years for me to realize that Bob Morris’ voice reminds me a bit of Brendan Urie from Panic! At The Disco. My favorite The Hush Sound songs were always the ones that featured Morris and Morgan both on vocals — like “Wine Red” from 2006’s Like Vines — mine and most Hush Sound fans’ favorite album. Their combo is like a good bag of kettle corn — the perfect mix of sweet (Morgan) and salty (Morris) vocal styles.
The band even handed out chocolate at one point during the show for some reason, which people in the front grabbed quickly after working up an appetite from dancing and singing their hearts out.
Morgan has built a really good reputation as an LA music scene staple, to the point that you even see her in the Instagram stories of SoCal indie queen Jenny Lewis (my all-time favorite). There’s an interesting comparison to be made between Morgan and Lewis — both got their first musical success as the only woman in an otherwise all-male band, and both went on to have careers more on their own terms. It’s no wonder they’ve connected as friends.
You could tell The Hush Sound had a blast throughout their show, relishing the fact that they could sell a solid amount of tickets during a holiday week in LA with no new material to tour behind. The pressure was low and they were just having a good time, and that rubbed off on the crowd who came out to see them and relive some of their own glory days.
Photos by Shelly Simon